'So I was born; I blinked; and it was over': American teacher writes her own beautiful obituary

Emma Debrayda Phillips wrote the piece after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

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The Independent US

An obituary written by a teacher shortly after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer has gone viral after being shared by tens of thousands of people.

Emily Debrayda Phillips, 69, died on 25 March soon after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A month earlier, a few days after her diagnosis on February 24, she wrote her own obituary.

Phillips starts by stating: “It pains me to admit it, but apparently I have passed away.

“Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience. Once again I didn’t get my way! That’s been the story of my life.”

Phillips describes her childhood, when she was one “the infamous three Fisher Girls” and teachers like “Mrs McCracken, Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Moody” inspired her to go into teaching herself.

She then charts her graduation to married life: “I married the man of my dreams (tall, dark, and handsome) on December 16, 1967 and from then on I was proud to be Mrs. Charlie Phillips, Grand Diva Of All Things Domestic.”

She makes some apologies to her children Bonnie and Scott. To Bonnie for making her wear “No Frills jeans” and to Scott for “red shirting” him in kindergarten, which means postponing entrance for a year.

More apologies are due to Mary Ann for “tearing up her paper dolls” and to Betsy “for dating a guy she had a crush on.”

She then goes on to her time as Grandparent: “Just when I thought that I was too old to fall in love again, I became a grandmother, and my five grand-angels stole not only my heart, but also spent most of my money.”

Then Mrs Phillips then moves on to the moving conclusion:

“So… I was born; I blinked; and it was over. No building named after me; no monuments erected in my honour.

"So in the end, remember… do your best, follow your arrow, and make something amazing out of your life. Oh, and never stop smiling.

“I’ll leave you with this… please don’t cry because I’m gone; instead be happy that I was here.

“Today I am happy and I am dancing probably naked.”

The full obituary can be read here.

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